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Fed-up worker took firm's van with over €4,000

A FOOD company delivery man has admitted driving off with the firm's van and more than €4,000 in takings because he felt he was being unfairly treated by his bosses.

Disgruntled employee Shakeed Ahmed (42) tricked a helper into getting out of the company van before driving away with cash and cheques he had just collected.

His grievance centred on pay and conditions and he felt he was entitled to the money, a court heard.

A judge ordered him to pay compensation to his bosses, but advised him to go to the Labour Relations Commission to notify them that he was allegedly not being paid minimum wage and had no contract of employment.

Ahmed, of Stamer Street, off the South Circular Road, is charged with the theft of €3,717 in cash and €707 in cheques, as well as unauthorised use of the vehicle at the N7, Citywest on October 7, 2010.

The prosecuting garda said he was called by the general manager of Top Mark Foods to say that Ahmed, in the early hours of the morning, while driving back from a delivery at which he collected money, left another employee on the side of the road and took the van.

He also took €4,424 in cash and cheques.

The court heard the cheques were never cashed, so the company was out of the cash sum. The accused, originally from Pakistan, had no previous convictions.

When detained, he explained the background to his employment to the gardai, and that he was not happy about the conditions or the way he was being treated by his employers.

Ahmed had been paid on a cash basis and worked very long hours, starting early in the morning and driving all over the country, his solicitor John O'Doherty said. He was being paid €70 per day.

He was also never given a contract of employment, despite working there a year and three months, the court was told. Ahmed was taking the case very seriously, Mr O'Doherty said.

"He should," Judge Anthony Halpin replied. "He takes the van, he leaves an employee on the side of the road and leaves €3,700 outstanding".







Student

Mr O'Doherty replied that this was money the accused believed he was due.

The judge said Ahmed should have gone to the Labour Relations Commission.

Mr O'Doherty accepted that his client should have done this, but instead took matters into his own hands. The court heard Ahmed was a student on a diploma course. Judge Halpin adjourned the case to November 13.

aphelan@herald.ie